The University of Maryland football team takes a lot of teasing over their uniforms. Literally, from head-to-toe and from helmet-to-cleats they are covered in red, white, yellow and black which depicts the flag of the State of Maryland. The university has embraced its state heritage with pride. Its beautiful, colorful and distinctive design is easily recognizable. The design is so popular that apparel is sold across the state from ties and belts to socks and shoes. The flag depicts the family crests of the Calvert and Crossland families, two families who played important roles in the establishment of Maryland, the most uniquely-shaped state in the United States with the Chesapeake Bay cutting through its center.

Naturally, a large flag is displayed at University of Maryland graduations and some graduates decorate their caps with their own version of the flag. I've attended four graduations at Maryland, Bachelors and Masters Degrees bestowed upon two nephews and a niece. (To digress, the best thing about being an aunt is the 'brag factor' … just one of the many things I get away with as an aunt.) In honor of my nephew's recent graduation with his Masters Degree in Engineering-Fire Prevention, I decided to take on the design of the Maryland flag in a cookie. It was my most challenging design to date and I was not sure if I could pull it off. It took some planning as I could not include all the flag details but aimed to capture the essence of the flag. The airbrush gun and stencils were key and I was delighted with the outcome. Come see!

Maryland Flag Cookies
Plaque Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining, flooding and detail tinted White with AmeriColor Super White
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Card Stock paper
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Stencils (Harlequin, Narrow Stripe)
Letter Stencil ("M")
Dinkydoodle Airbrush Color (Super Red)
AmeriColor Airbrush Colors (Lemon Yellow, Super Black)
Airbrush Kit

Outline and flood cookie with #2 tip in white icing. Let dry overnight.

Place stripe stencil on half of cookie.
Cover other half of cookie with piece of card stock paper.
Spray with red airbrush color. Gently lift stencil. Let dry 20 minutes.

Cover striped half of cookie with piece of card stock paper.
Spray other half of cookie with yellow airbrush color. Let dry 20 minutes.

Place harlequin stencil on cookie. 
Cover striped half of cookie with piece of card stock paper.
Spray with black airbrush color. Gently lift stencil. Let dry 45 minutes.

Center letter stencil on cookie. Apply light pressure so the stencil stays in place.
Spread white detail icing with spatula. Remove excess icing. Gently lift stencil.
Let dry overnight.


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PASTEL CAKE/ Creamy Buttercream

I have been on a cake kick lately. I am still experimenting with buttercream frosting and I think I have found ‘the one.’ This recipe is creamy and fluffy making it easy to spread and scrape for a clean look on tall cakes. I tweaked my Favorite Buttercream Frosting which is absolutely delicious on the White Cupcakes and Devil's Food Cake. To achieve an ultra creamy finish I simply increased the amount of butter ever so slightly. The result is so creamy that I did not need to add milk to this recipe. The taste is just as splendid.

Vanilla Three-Layer Cake
2¼ cups Softasilk Cake Flour (or 2-1/8 cup Flour), sifted
1½ cups Sugar
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Crisco Shortening
1 cup Milk
1½ tsp Vanilla
3 Eggs

Grease and flour three 7-inch cake pans.
Mix Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt. Add Shortening. Add a little over half of Milk to the dry ingredients. 
Add Vanilla. Add remaining Milk and Eggs. Mix well. Pour into baking pans.
Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 until cake tester comes out clean.
(Refer to Recipes page for baking time for two-layer cake)
[This is the Rich Golden Cake recipe from the 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook]

Creamy Buttercream Frosting
1½ cups Butter (3 sticks), softened
6 cups Confectioner’s Sugar, sifted
½ tsp Vanilla
1-4 tbsp Milk (optional)

Beat butter for 8-10 minutes until pale and double in volume.
Gradually add the sugar ½ cup at a time beating well after each addition.
Add vanilla and milk. Beat well until icing is smooth and fluffy.

Separate frosting into three bowls. Keep some frosting white. No need to color the frosting white.
Color frosting Pastel Pink with a smidge of AmeriColor Super Red.
Color frosting Pastel Green with a smidge of AmeriColor Avocado.
Color frosting Pastel Blue with a smidge of and AmeriColor Sky Blue.

Assemble the cake and frost each layer in white icing.
Then crumb coat (optional) the top and sides of cake with white frosting.
Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Frost the outside of the cake starting with pink frosting along the bottom of the cake, 
followed by green and blue on the sides and top of cake.



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School's out for summer. School's out forever…
No more pencils. No more books…
School's out for summer, out 'til fall. We might not go back at all.
( Alice Cooper)

Summertime is here … the best time of the year …

baseball … parades …popsicles … beach balls … sailing ...
slip-n-slide … lightning bugs … watermelon … sparklers … seashells ...
family reunions … the beach … roller coasters … ice cream cones …
cotton candy … snowcones … boardwalk … boogie boards … fireworks … swimming …


These apple cookies are a sweet, year-end thank you to elementary school teachers.

Apple Cookies
Apple Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Blue with AmeriColor Teal and AmeriColor Violet
Royal Icing for detail tinted Green with AmeriColor Avocado
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Apple Stencil 
AmeriColor Pearl Sheen Airbrush Color
Airbrush Kit

Outline cookie with #2 tip in blue icing.
Flood cookie with blue icing. 

Let dry overnight.

Place stencil on the cookie. Spray with pearl airbrush color. 

Gently lift stencil. Let dry 20 minutes.

Pipe leaves in green icing with #2 tip. Let dry overnight.



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